tv Women Vietnam Veterans CSPAN November 12, 2017 1:20pm-2:21pm EST
veterans, the author of a vietnam veterans, and untold story. she talks about women who served in the vietnam war. the national archives in washington, d.c. hosted this event in conjunction with the opening of their remembering vietnam exhibit. >> i ask all vietnam veterans and any united states veteran who served during the vietnam to may 15,er 1, 1955 1975 to stand and be recognized. [applause] >> thank you for your service, and welcome home. archives and volunteers will present each of you with a bit non-veteran lapel
thin. on the back of the pin is in boston a great nation thanks and on her shoe. he united states -- today, we're come to hear about a particular group of vietnam veterans. there were 1000 women from the army and marine car -- marine corps, abn marines. they were dietitians, communication specialists and nurses and much more. book, she writes. sergeant major she was. she tells her story. , sher 26 years of service was first sergeant of four units and served for overseas to her's.
in 1967, she was directed as one of the groups of army list and women to serve in vietnam. after her retirement from the army she worked with the washington state department of veterans affairs. since her retirement she has been active in her community and received one of the governor's 50 volunteer awards for her work with the homeless, and also received washington state's outstanding women veterans award for 2011. please welcome sergeant major donna lowery. [applause] donna: good afternoon, everybody. i'm so excited about being here because i'm going to tell you about a fantastic group of women that, in this country have been overlooked until this time. when i speak of the vietnam war, i am talking about a time in our country when women were segregated.
for the army, we had the army nurse corps and the women's army corps. for the air force we had the women's air force, the navy, we had the navy women. and the marines, we had the marine women. each of our groups was led by a colonel there was only one director for each of the women's corps, and that's the woman who made the decisions for those of us who served under them. later on, we were in this mint-green uniform with a beret.
another time she was shopping at sex fifth avenue and i asked her where we got our drill sergeant cap. and she said to me, well, first sergeant, she said there is this fascinating display, and i saw this. it looks like a safari had. -- hat. and so, it is a wide brim, it comes with mosquito netting, you can just imagine yourself out with the elephants. and that is how we got our drill-sergeant hats. each of the services, we had one woman and that's the woman who made the decisions for each of us. and that would be a colonel. later, we were permitted to have one woman general in charge of each of our women corps. the women i'm going to talk to
you about today, these women are not nurses. i tell you, as a retired sergeant major, from the time that i left vietnam as a staff sergeant, to the time i retired as a sergeant major, i must have had at least 1000 people come up to me, whatever my rank was and say, sergeant major, so you were a nurse in vietnam? i didn't know that. the nurses did an incredible job. we are really, really proud of them. but this is a group of approximately 1000 women that have never received any recognition, and that is my purpose here today. phyllis k. miller is a master sergeant who lives in north carolina. she is in fact, one of my very closest friends and she has put together every powerpoint presentation i have given, which is a lot because i'm always changing what i want to say.
so, this is the front end back of our book. we had 20 women, and we have two of the book-team members here today, but we had 20 women around the country, and some of them put in excessive hours. we were working 60-70 hours and we were working for two and a half years to get this book published. i paid extra for the design of the cover because i wanted a really nice one that would stand out. and you can see that the women were in uniforms and that is because we went to vietnam in our class b uniform. it is a skirt and a top with our heels, with our puffy hair. and that was our uniform until after we moved and then we changed into the fatigues.
i could only put 10 women on the back, that i wanted to recognize, but truthfully i wish i had more room to recognize all 20 of them, because without them there would be no book. the number of women that served in vietnam, we don't know. honestly, we don't know. it is a disgrace for this country that we do not know that. i put in a freedom of information act request after the book came out, and i asked, can you give me the number one, 2, 3, four. this is the number we have been hearing since 1997, since a group of women got together at the vietnam wall and then, they started the vietnam women's vets, an organization we are apart of.
what happened to them was that, they said ok, there is approximately 1234 or, we really don't know. but we really do know, and now the figure is 1234. so we went on like that for years and i can't tell you had disappointing it is to the women, to know that they served and did a tremendous job, but that they were not recognized. when i talked to freedom of information, they said to me, ok, here is what we can do for you. we can element the nurses from our database for you, and then we continue everybody that was -- we can tell you everybody that was in the services, but we can't give you any names. and i said, that's useless. what am i going to do with this piece of information? then they said, here's the truth. we don't know who served over in vietnam.
that is the truth. and i am ok with that. i'm ok that people don't know those of us who served in vietnam. i'm not ok if people go around the world telling people like, they know something and they really don't. i'm going to tell you in a few minutes about my new hero, the person who told us the truth. so i formed the team by knowing who had the greatest number of women, and i started by having the women commanders. but most of our women commanders are deceased and we only have one first sergeant that is alive, and that is marion crawford. and peggy reddy, who was my first commander, was ill. she couldn't participate. marion crawford took her part.
pat jernigan, i will introduce you to her in a little while, she took several roles because the commanders were deceased and we needed somebody who would take over that. so we built a team of 20 incredible women that were really committed to having this history. here are the numbers. we found 863. there is probably more than 1000 but we don't know. we have our database administrator here today and her name is marcia cricket kohler. she is from mississippi and she is the one who is taking care of our women. i was really concerned about, what were we going to do with the deceased? we didn't know who died, or when they died, and they got no recognition for their service whatsoever. and cricket has taken on that task. it is her calling it she will be
working on taking care of us until the very last, i can just see her at the grave telling someone, this is very important. we want to make sure we have our database right. so she has found 288 of our women. we have 403 stories. so we have stories like pat jernigan's, who is here. she worked with the family of a major who was the first woman went to vietnam. and we have other family members that we worked with, whatever connection we could make so that we could recognize as many of these women as possible. so, we have 460 images, old black and whites, they are grainy. we have 460 of them. chapters 4-12 are the chapters that list the women
individually, and it starts from the beginning when major dohring was there in 1962, to when the last women left, which was in 1973. i want to read you from my new hero. this is colonel mark franklin, chief history and legacy branch, united states army, american war commemoration. and he says, "when i first came on board with the commemoration in 2011, one the one of the first things might team tried to do was determine an accurate number of women who served in vietnam, both nurses and non-medical, because i wanted to do a series on both. for nonmedical women veterans, we were able to get pretty solid data from each of the services except for the army. and that is pretty sad, to have
that told to you when we have the largest group over there. they were a challenge, according to colonel franklin during and after some pretty expensive research, we were able to find accurate data that would provide something more than round estimates or guesstimates, for army women veterans who served in vietnam. approximately 700 left. but again, this is a very rough estimate because, by their own admission, the united states army did not keep good records of vietnam veteran women. if someone has that information, and is willing to share it with us, i would be most grateful. but i just don't think it is out there, and that is what i got from him earlier this week. the marines, we have 35. we know there are 35 of them.
i have gone to quantico. mary is our marine representative and did an excellent job. i have given her permission so that she and the quantico people can do a report on the women marines by themselves. i hope that happens. the navy, the navy identified eight women. we found for other women thanks to penny adams, who was on the the two ships. i'm not sure if she was on the sanctuary but she was on one of those two ships, the sanctuary, i believe. they were hospital ships off of da nang. so we count 12 now, instead of the eighth. we have approximately 200 air force women. we don't have a good count on them, at all, and we are working on it. as you can see from the numbers that the army has the greatest majority over there. so, this is me. and this is to show you our uniform that we wore.
and i said, can you guys find somebody who has got this big puffy hairstyle? find out who has got the worst one, and let's put it up. and they said, that would be you, donna. [laughter] donna: so, here we have our colonel who felt that this was appropriate that we dress like this in a war zone. the next photo, you are really going to like. this is our beautician. we had a beautician in the compound, pierre, so he could always keep our hair nice and flopped like this. they put in the compound a permanent trailer so we could go to the beautician and have a manicure or pedicure at anytime. very important, i'm sure. to whom, i don't know. so this is the start. major dohring in 1962, she served by herself. in 1965, about the same time
general west moreland was interested in advisers to the women's armed forces corps, they were vietnamese, and in having stenographers come over. what happened was the military stenographers came over in vietnam for the first time in 1965, and they went to stay at hotels. they never became part of the wac veterans. there were a number of hotels where the women were billeted, because later we had specialties. for the women advisers to the armed forces corps, the in visor from south vietnam, he decided he was going to have a women's armed forces corps, made up of exclusively vietnamese women.
so he said well, when the president asked general west moreland he said i will send you to wacs. i will send you a wac officer and i will send you an enlisted woman. so, that was very well accepted. later we had the air force, they were sent over and they had a women's air force that was made up of vietnamese women. i want to read you something because i want to make sure i get it correct. colonel emily gorman was the director of the women's army corps in november, 1964. she received a letter from brigadier general ben sternberg, directing the assignment of the women and offering friendly advice. the wac officer should be a captain or major, fully knowledgeable of all the operations of the wac school and
the training conducted therein. she should be extremely intelligent, and extrovert, and beautiful. the wac sergeant should have some of the same qualities and she should be able to type, as well. colonel gorman replied to the general, they would "certainly try," and then added that the combination of brains and beauty is, of course, common in the wac. so that is where we were at that particular time in our history. ok, so you can see the vietnamese women, and they are in their traditional dress. on the left inside is major wilkes. on the right-hand side is sergeant first class adams. you can see they are in the class b uniform and that they have heels on. and here they were. can you imagine, 1965 is when
our women started. and this is from 1971. and it was really a tremendous time for a connection with our country because 51 of those vietnamese officers went to fort mcclellan, alabama, 50 of them went to the basic class. and one of them went to the basic class and also, the advanced officers training. so this is tent city b. this is where it all began for some of us. tent city b, this is the wac detachment. we had quonset huts, those metal ones. my good friend donna deere, we were in this one.
and the bullet came at it, in donna's bed. and had she been there, she would have died. you would have been the first casualty. this here is our patio area. you would come to the wac i detachment, to the building, will which had been a french building before. and you would go and the men or not permitted in, unless we were at a party. if we were at a party, then they could come. are otherwise, they would come and check us out, just like you would check something out, they would check us out. a and this here, you see a little umbrella thing? ok, that was big enough so that him one couple could sit on it. one male, one female, sitting out there. that was the dating area. if he didn't get there quickly,
then we had our dating here, in the gravel. so we would be one man, one woman, one man, one woman, just sitting there for hours after we got off of work. then we had the road, here. we had five roads, those were engineered and then we had the perimeter. this is a vietnamese golf course. this entire area was destroyed, so we moved in july, 1967. in january 1968, at the biggest tet offensive, and had we not moved, the entire base would have been destroyed. everything. the monsoon season was really outrageous. i walked from out here in the orderly room, walked over here, and i'm dry.
i get to this point, one day, and i'm soaking wet. here is the monsoon. by the time and get to my office over here, i'm dry again. is. is the way it with hi i'm going to show you a picture of the monsoon. here is the monsoon. the reason i selected this is because, up here -- ok, good. maybe i pushed it too hard. ok. you can see that these are sandbags. and these are sandbags at one of the office buildings but this is the way they were, backed up like this at the wac detachment. we didn't have bunkers for everybody so some women would just go behind one of these sandbags and stay there. the other reason i selected this picture is because this is a
wig. i had really long hair in those days and as long as her hair did not exceed the bottom edge of your collar, you were fine. so i put all my hair under it, i had on my wig and i was perfectly fine. this is a bathroom, and outdoor outhouse. and what would happen every day as we would use it, and a vietnamese man would come over he would burn all of the feces. so, if you had an office next to there, like me, it was a terrible place to be. [laughter] this other side, there's another building and that is the men's showers. how this works is, i would walk around in this sidewalk, say hi to whoever was in the shower that morning, and then come down this way and go to my office over here. and everybody would be shaving, it was just from the waist up, but everybody would be used to me because i was the only woman there at that time.
and they would go, hi, donna. see you at work. this is the monsoon. this is in front of my office. i'm about five foot four inches, i guess i have shrunk now and i am about 5'2". in vietnam at 5'4", this would have covered me. it is one of the benches. so, just terrible, the monsoons. this is a poncho that we were given but none of us were dry. we had awful things where, the bunks would go floating down the aisle in the middle of the barracks because the rain was so hard, and we had somebody who was the second company commander and what happened to her all of the time was that the rain would go through the company commander's floor, right on her head. so she would sleep during the monsoon season with a poncho over her.
the relatives. we have something that i think is really interesting. this is sue. ok. i don't know why i am helping problems. this is soon and this is her father. when her father took her to dinner downtown, he had to go through a checkout by the second company commander to make sure he was just not flirting with this young woman but he actually was her father. we had some women who served with their husbands. we had some women who served with their brother, like donna deere. we had some who served in place of their brother, and we believe
we have the only set of identical twins that served in vietnam at the same time, and that would be charlie and kathy call. and i was a drill sergeant with them. but when they were in vietnam, major browning was in charge of that office and she said that she could not tell them apart. she said charlie, you go on the left-hand side of this office and kathy, you go to the right hand. and i don't want to hear of you guys changing sides, to confuse me. [applause] the tet offensive was 1968. the biggest campaign of the war. the ammunition dump about three miles away from us went off for three days and three nights. so what happened was, we had a payday formation and we have mary wilson here with us today and she was really brave because as the ammo went down, she jumped on somebody to save them.
we were not used to being that close. and it was so bad the company commander tried to run away, and she went under her desk and a red cross worker was already under there, so she couldn't get under there. i had yellow paint on my room. the paint came off the room. people fell downstairs. we had a number of injuries that day. and keep in mind, we had our bouffant hairstyles or whatever but we were in fatigues at that point, so we were able to fall on the ground. we weren't supposed to, of course. we were supposed to stay nice and neat, but we did. if you are in the wac attachments, you have bunkers but we didn't have bunkers for
everybody. so what happened was, we had some people in bunkers and some people behind those of sandbags i showed you before, and that was the only protection. life at the hotels was really something. we had a number of hotels and during the tet offensive of 1968, the marines were at a hotel where 27 men, mps, died. and for three days they were there, and they had to stay. and what they did was, they went up to the kitchen because the vietnamese were not there. there was a restaurant in their hotel. and they fixed sandwiches for everybody that day while the firing was going on. and when they were finally released days later, they were released to buses that had barbed wire that had men with guns in them, to take them to us. it was really a scary, scary
time for us. i want to tell you about the defense plan for the women, specifically the wacs detachment. i started the book when i was at the academy, and i did the interviews while i was there and we were talking about the defense plan. and i talked to betty morton who was our historian, much like david, but she was for the women's army corps. and she sent me some information, and my question was, what was the defense land for the wac detachment? and she sent me this conversation that had come on with a number of people after they came back from vietnam and they were talking about it. and the defense plan for mary
and me and cricket, was that we were supposed to go in a particular ditch. we were supposed to jump up and we were supposed to kill charlie, which were the vc, and had an ak-47. so for years i thought, i guess we were supposed to throw our heels at them. [laughter] i really couldn't think of any other plausible idea. and it wasn't until a couple of years ago that mary said to me, don't you remember? and i said honestly, i don't. and she said, we were supposed to jump up and use our hairspray on them. [laughter] can you imagine being a young woman, no weapons because it would not look appropriate for americans back home to see that, that the defense plan would be for you to jump up with no
weapon and have your hairspray ready, and kill the enemy? that was our defense plan. should the women get weapons now? keep in mind, we are segregated, and it was a general who made the decision for us, and she decided we should not have any. so, we didn't have any. i want to tell you about some extraordinary bravery. this is mary bender. she was a warrant officer and she saved women that were in a hotel. there were a number of hotels, we are talking about 1968. and mary's job was, they gave her a couple of grenades, the gave her a revolver and an old rifle -- and he wanted her to protect the area on one of the
stairwells, up to the third floor. mary was there for three days. she killed some of the viet cong. when she was put in for a silver star for her heroism, she was told that she was a woman and she couldn't get it. mary bender touches my heart because she did a very brave thing. she died homeless, on the streets, because when she received a discharge when she was pregnant, she got a dishonorable discharge. and it was through the bravery of her son and some friends that she is now buried in arlington. we have karen offut. she is alive and well it is going to be on the radio this
week and we are very happy about that. she lived in a hotel and she was sick. she thought there was a fire in the hotel. you see where the hamlets were three sided they were melted down and they are just shacks. , that was her hamlet. it was just a little village just a few feet from the hotel. and so what happens is that karen ran out there and saved that village. there were 80 people. she saved them. and when she was to get the soldier's award, they said to her, we do not give that to our women.
30 years later, in florida, karen offut got the soldier's award, and we are very, very proud of that. one major ended up retiring as a brigadier general. she worked with the mps when we were first there and she was familiar with weapons. and then she became the protocol officer in the north part. so when generals and other people would come, she would be the one responsible for providing safety. so she had a weapon and she would be out there with her weapon, leading the convoy or whatever. and her general said that she was so great at this, that she scared the very important persons that were coming, more than the vc. [laughter]
i want to talk to you about a few other extraordinary women. i could talk the entire day about them. colonel pat was a pilot butat -- pilot in world war ii, but when it came to vietnam, she was not alloweda to fly. she was in intelligence. and she did intel about the ho chi minh trail and how they could target people. that was her job in vietnam. dr. bowen is one of my favorites. she was the first black physician to hold a military commission, and she entered the army in 1955.
and it was 1970, and she was still the only black woman physician in the army. she became the chief psychiatrist in vietnam. she was the chief psychiatrist at two v.a. hospitals and to -- two army medical centers. and when they asked her, did she have difficulty because she was black, and she said no. we are not where we are supposed to be, but that is not an issue for me. what is an issue for me is that i am a woman, and they see me as incompetent and i have a really hard time dealing with that on a daily basis. the last person is marian crawford, the only first sergeant who is still living. she just sold her home in georgia and is moving to florida. and we love her.
mary hay wilson, cricket, and i could list all of the other women. she was our first sergeant. she was our mother. she made a change in my career. priscilla landry wilcowitz says, i came over as a scatterbrained kid, i had just turned 21, and i left committed to the army. i served 26 years. and that is because of marian crawford and betty benson who were absolutely extraordinary role models. i wanted to tell you more about that time to give you an idea. the men did not need this, but they were women needed parental consent to enlist. we had to have both mother and father. also, the men did not need this, but if you reenlisted, us women would need to make sure we had our mother and father sign the papers.
i was able to reenlist just before i turned 21. my father's of that, i world war ii veterans and he did not want me to stay in vietnam. so he did really not want to sign the papers. but i convinced him that in two weeks i would be on my own, and i could sign at 21, but i would lose the $5,000 reenlistment. so he begrudgingly signed those papers. so, pregnancies. if you got pregnant at that time , you received a dishonorable discharge. can you imagine that? our women came back, they didn't say thank you for your service and they discharged them. something which is really neat is the adoptions. cathy oatman was there for many years, and many of our women were involved with orphanages and the kids.
and during my time, they had a party over at the wac detachment for the kids. and so cathy fell in love with a little boy named kevin and had him at the wac detachment for a month before she left. and she said everybody wanted to be a mother. you need to put this coat on. you need to take this coat off. and so she says there were many, many mothers to kevin. and then she decided she couldn't just take kevin home, just having one child. so she took kevin and kimi home. and then we had him in 1971, edith howard, and what happened was there was a new adoption policy in the united states army.
for us to have that policy, there was a loophole because of until that time, single women were not to be adopting children. so fort meade, maryland, took a stand. they had the authority to approve adoptions and both of those women, in their 50's, adopted. it was a great day for people who wanted to do that. the consequences of war. it was quite a thing and we have people that are dealing with ptsd. we have people that are not sleeping through the night, that are still crying when they see something that still, 50 years later, is touching them. one of the reasons is, when we came back there were no services. i knew guys who went to the bush in a little town near me in olympia, washington, and they stayed there for years. there was no ptsd.
there was nothing. people didn't discuss it. they kept to themselves. and so i am now proud that those young veterans, i mean they say to everybody, i have ptsd. and i am like, good for you. good that you can put it out there because our generation did not have the ability to do that. the 24th of back you wish and. that is where all the women eight, except for me. i was a personnel person when i went there and never but he also clerk-typist. i came from new jersey and i was a typist, too, but personnel found out i had gone to personnel school and suggested
that i ask for a job over there, and i did and they gave it to me. so, where our women experienced so much, like they had to eat at the 24th either back hospital. and we had cricket here yesterday and she was crying with the pilots because they brought day and night, the medivacs, they brought the dead. and we have women that have lost a lot of weight. we have women that have lost their hair. we have women who thought the 24th evac was more than they could handle. and, it's a sad place. everybody considers it. so some people just stopped eating. they couldn't go to the 24th.
they had to go to the px and by, and they didn't even have good protein bars in those days, so candy bars. and that is what they lived on. now, an evacuation plan. we were noncombatants so, for those of you who are not military, that is like a family member. by law, all of the women that served in vietnam were like family members. there were noncombatants. nobody was a combatant. so when our unit was determined to have no evacuation plan for us, it was hard, especially on a woman who has been a recluse for 50 years because she cannot believe her country center to a war zone and had no plan for her to leave. welcome home, vietnam vets. every vietnam that who came back to the state knows how awful it is. again, i was saved. i became the youngest first
sergeant in the army, outside of combat, at 21. and i went from vietnam to germany. but for the rest of our women, they came back, they were spit on, they were called baby killers just like the men. they were treated just awful, and in addition, they were called whores. a terrible time in our country, for all of those people. these are three people that worked on the book. cricket hoeler, who is here today. she was, from the beginning, from the beginning when i wondered about the people that are deceased, she has been there the entire way, from day one to the end. the second one is my friend phyllis miller.
she is not a vietnam that but she wanted to honor everybody. truthfully, without her we would have no book because i don't have the skills that are necessary to put this together. we have claire ridgeway starnes and she is the cofounder of vietnam women vets, the organization we belong to and she joined us after the first draft and she was a photojournalist in vietnam so she was able to contribute quite a bit. but it's not an exaggeration to stay without these women we would not have a book. and without phyllis, no doubt, there would be no book. i want to tell you about some other books from our women. the first one is "three days past yesterday." this is a sad story. lucky allen was in the intelligence field and she saw what she calls the 50,000 chinese. she first saw the tet offensive of 1968, and lucky went from her headquarters to saigon to those headquarters and she told them that we were going to have a huge offensive. and she says the men didn't believe her, not because she's black but because she's a woman. and it is so painful for her to look at that wall, when she believes that she could saved some of those lives if only people had seen her as an intelligence person as opposed to a woman intelligence person. and then we have linda earle.
linda is a country girl and wrote to her mother all the time she was in vietnam and her mother wrote her back. this is her book. it's filled with all the letters she wrote and all the letters that were written back to her. and the third book is a situational story that she put into a historical perspective. all three of them are written very well and i suggest that you get those books. they will help you. so today, and i would like her to stand up. this is mary hay wilson, the person i told you was our hero during the tet offensive of 1968. mary and i were there together and she worked, i had this wrong and i'm going to correct it now, she worked for the united states army engineer command provisional. [applause]
she really has done an extraordinary job. [applause] she's a book team member and has a virtual cemetery for all the women we have. she is our database administrator so when we have somebody who is interested in interviewing one of our women, she is the one who has the information on everybody. i would tell you, today, that i hope that you will each talk to one person and let the person know the amazing story of these
incredible women, because they certainly are. i did a two-hour, graduate-level presentation at the freedom foundation last year. i have a 38-page lesson plan, sorry, a 38-page powerpoint with a 48-page lesson plan. i will give it to you, and ask you to give it to the teachers of our country and share it with organizations. if you need anything we are there to provide you with the best information we can on this group of women. this is our email. i'm not really good at this, as you can tell. phyllis will be the one responding to you. and we will give you that lesson plan. it will be on the commemoration site as soon as we get some things done on that site. i was contacted by a producer, everybody doesn't know this yet, and i signed a shopping agreement and he wants to do a
tv series or movie on these women. [applause] donna: i'm so excited. so if anybody is in that business, use that email and we will refer you to the producer. i want to thank the national archives. i want to thank susan clifton, up here. she set everything up for me. i want to thank david, thank you very much, our archivist of the united states. what a privilege to have him here today. patrick madden, the head of the national archives. i want to thank and, oh, i don't have the right paper here. i want to thank my old boss and he is in the front row. he came from maryland, today to
be with us. he was the commanding officer over at us ucomm in 1982, when i was there. this is terrible. i wrote it down, and i left it. it's really embarrassing. but he has a hawaiian name and i had to write down phonetically and now, oh, wait a minute, i have got it. i'm very happy. his name is warren keelaihula. thank you, colonel.
and kelsey, would you stand up, anne? she was the librarian and she even wrote something about the women in our book. it was a pleasure meeting her in her today. i want to thank you all, for coming. i'm open to questions for the next couple of minutes if anyone wants to come down and ask them. we will be having a book-signing ceremony outside and you will have me, and pat jernigan, and mary hay wilson, and cricket. so, thank you so much for coming and we really appreciate your time. [applause] [crowd noise]
>> 50 years ago, the united states was at war with vietnam. this veterans day weekend, american history tv on c-span3 looks back with 40 hours of coverage. railamerica, the vietnam war special report. >> whether it is due to the clever cat six or the weather or terrain, it seems clear the american military offensive on the dmz has down like marines in the mud. >> then at 6:00 on american artifacts, we will tour the remembering vietnam.
lyndon johnson vietnam war press conference. >> made our statement on what we would do. we said we would stand with those people in the face of and we put up and we are there. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3. on august 10, 1964, president lyndon johnson signed a resolution which, in lieu of the declaration of war, which were on southeast asia. 4 incident andt vietnamese torpedo boats. the national security archive at george washington university, to
learn about numerous documents which shed more light on the incident. >> i am the director of the national security archive. we are here at the top floor at george washington university where we live. we are in a room full of boxes of declassified documents. most of the declassified documents today are digital. it is fascinating we can look inside story and work historian work, the intercepts of the north vietnamese conversations, then listen to president johnson's phone calls. begin to understand two huge realities that known to the public at this time.
they were not the on vote aggression as the basis for our bombing. these patrols, top-secret for coastal defenses to figure out how the north vietnamese radar see how they respond and intercept communications among naval headquarters and torpedoes on the coast. , this is one of the big secrets. got them on tape talking about it.
fridaylso explain 34 a night, you probably know it four from vietnam, attacked it is and we expended over 1000 rounds of ammunition at one time. a few other miscellaneous buildings, following 24 hours undoubtedly, -- there were a ton of intelligence in between directing them all the way through the attack and withdrawal and damage to ships.
at the moment come you have destroyers torpedoing in the water, there are no electronic signals. there is no communication being picked up. coordinating these attacks. we sacrificed to ships and the rest are ok. all recognize our obligations. you go back to the original nec the word conrad. two summaries, you see the word boat. two books sounds like a huge attack. we now believe there are people who were wounded on the second of august and not shot on the fourth of august. by going back and looking at the
originals, which is what the national security agency should have done at the time, but didn't, they instead prepared a chronology that would show your what the president had said on national intelligence. >> repeated today by a number of .ostile vessels >> this week, we look at the lives of eight george justices who have served on the supreme court. our guest is author of "juice justices on the supreme court." >> the declining anti-semitism from the time to risque theirs -- ruth bader genders berg.
i was going to mention that portrait in 1984. from his vantage point, hoover had the audacity to dominate -- he wrote a letter into hoover saying how dare you afflict with another hebrew. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> each week, real america in theyou archival films 20th century. march 8, 1965, 3500 marines were deployed to vietnam marking the beginning of the ground war. almost 200 america -- almost 200,000 americans were in the country. in 1975, nearly 3 million americans have served in the conflict and more than 68,000 lost their lives.